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Players have a choice to enter night battle after every combat node that satisfies two conditions: it starts during the day, and all of the enemy vessels aren't wiped out. Additionally, you cannot enter night battle after a node that starts at night. Note, however, that you can still proceed into night battle or a new node if the flagship of your escort fleet in a combined fleet is heavily damaged.
Night battle consists of a single shelling round, with the flagship attacking first, followed by the ships below it in order, regardless of range. This is the same ordering scheme seen during the second shelling round of day-time battle, assuming you have a battleship in your fleet.
Allied carriers cannot attack at night! do note, however, that enemy carriers of flagship-tier or higher can attack at night, as well as most boss vessels.
Formation modifiers applied during the day do not have any effect at night; for all purposes functionally, both sides are always in line-ahead formation. This generally makes shelling more lethal and subs almost invincible. Note that engagement forms don't apply to night battle either.
Note also (indeed, there are many exceptions) that formation modifiers do apply during nodes that start with night battle.
Calculation for night battle base attack power: Firepower + Torpedo + Effective Bonus (Firepower) + Effective Bonus (Torpedo)
- "Effective Bonus" is derived from the improvement bonus conferred by improvement.